Parameters Help

Discussion in 'Game Mechanics Design' started by Raijinn, May 20, 2019.

  1. Raijinn

    Raijinn YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET Veteran

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    Any way to ease balancing parameters? For example, let's say I have two classes a warrior and a mage.
    Obviously, warrior would be better at attack and mage would be better in magic, but how do I decide on the numbers itself?

    Also asking as to how I balance them with the health of the enemies with the stats of the classes.
     
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  2. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    I've moved this thread to Game Mechanics Design. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.

     
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  3. Andar

    Andar Veteran Veteran

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    either mathematics or a lot of playtesting or both.

    You're missing several components of the balancing before you could even start.
    1) what formulae have the skills used?
    If the skill formula ignores parameters and give fixed damag, your parameters matter less.
    If the skill formula emphasises parameters (like 10*a.atk etc) then it has to be balanced differently

    2) when is the skill or enemy available?
    a skill that is only available in endgame can easily be overpowered without balancing problems. Do the same with the first spell and it will cause problems. Same goes for when and where an enemy will pop up.

    3) Do you want quick battles or minutes of attack spamming?
    If you want quick battles, your parameters need to be high enough (or HP low enough) that one skill can kill the enemy in one or two hits.
    If you want attack spamming with big numbers, the skills need to do much less damage than the HP of the enemy.

    The best way to start is probably by excel or calc or a similiar program. Make your sheets with the damage formulae the skills of your project use and have them calculate how many hits skill A would need to reach the maxHP of enemy B. Then use that as a basis for experimenting before placing the numbers into the game
     
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  4. Aoi Ninami

    Aoi Ninami Veteran Veteran

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    This is an extremely broad question, so I can only give a broad reply. The numbers don't mean anything by themselves, but only in relation to your enemies' stats, your damage formula, the composition of the party, and how much leeway you want to give the player in case they are fighting at less than full strength. (And probably many other factors I've forgotten to mention!)

    The approach I take is to start by fixing the most global parameters. If you set all your stats first and then try to find a damage formula that goes well with all of them, that's not likely to work out too well. So choose a damage formula first, then actor stats, then enemy stats.

    So, let's take as an example your question of how much ATK to give the warrior and the mage. At this point, enemy stats are not fixed yet, so we can work with whatever numbers we like. In my game, I'm working with low stats, so my highest-ATK character has a starting ATK of 16, my lowest 6. You might prefer numbers like 50 or 100 or 200. I give my starting enemies very low DEF (i.e. 1 or 2) so there's a lot of room to go up; also so that player ATK has a clear and visible influence on damage, so the player feels rewarded when their stats go up. My damage formula is (2 * ATK * ATK) / (ATK + DEF), so against low-DEF enemies, damage is going to be close to 2 * ATK, i.e. my ATK 16 character will deal roughly 32 damage with a physical hit, and so on.

    Now that I know my damage output, I can set enemy HP appropriately. I have complete freedom to set each enemy's HP separately, so I can decide whether it will go down in two hits, twenty or two hundred. I can give some enemies higher DEF, so that low-ATK characters can barely scratch them but high-ATK characters will still do some damage.

    Then for the mage, the important question is what ratio you want between the warrior's damage output, the mage's damage output with a physical attack, and the mage's damage output with magic. In other words, do you want the mage to be weaker but still do noticeable damage, or do you want the Final Fantasy situation where a mage's physical attack is like trying to knock down a wall with a piece of paper? There's no right or wrong answer here; it's what you want for your game. The choice you make will have an effect on players' strategies: if the mage can still do some damage with a physical, the player might choose to use their physical more often to conserve MP, even at the cost of making battles last slightly longer, whereas if mages can only do magic, then the player will probably use magic every turn. Once you've made a decision here, you can tweak the numbers to get the damage output in the ratio you want.
     
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  5. Tai_MT

    Tai_MT Veteran Veteran

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    I've found that no matter what stats/formulas/etcetera you use... The easiest way to determine balance is just to decide early on what you want it to be.

    What do I mean? Decide on it the same way players measure balance in games.

    "Can I kill it in one hit?"
    "Can it kill me in one hit?"
    "How many hits does it take to kill it?"
    "How many hits do I die in?"

    That's how you initially determine your balance. Then, you just build your stats and formulas and monsters around that.

    You also need to decide on the "Logical Progression" of this system. Will your characters quickly outstrip the enemies? If so, how quickly?

    Personally, I go with the "every enemy upon first encounter, should take four hits to kill". I then add the caveat: "If you encounter this for the second or third time, you should knock that down to 1 or 2 hits". I decided my bosses should take 20 or so actions (about five rounds of combat) to put down if the player does everything correctly. If the player does not, it takes longer or results in a game over.

    These are the decisions you need to be making. Balancing numbers is the easy part. Balancing the effect of combat is difficult.

    For example, I know for a fact that if a player is "overleveled" in my game, they will rofl-stomp my enemies. My enemies intended to take 4 hits to kill on your first run. I have accepted this to some degree, but I have also added in "contingencies". So that having 10000 Attack doesn't necessarily matter all the time. So that having 10000 Defense doesn't necessarily matter all the time.

    Balance is what you decide it should be.

    For example, in a game like Warframe, the game teaches you that "balance" is being able to one-shot large groups of enemies. If you aren't doing this, you are underpowered and need to do one of like five different things to get to that point. However, in a game like Dark Souls, balance is giving the player enough time and experience to react and avoid being hit at all in every fight.

    You need to decide what your balance is for your game before you ever put stats to paper. What is your goal? Then, make your formulas, stats, skills, states, and everything else... adhere to that goal and rule.

    Finally, you just playtest a whole bunch to see if you're getting the desired result. Playtest with all sorts of different loadouts and characters. It's the only way to know if balance is maintained. Have your friends do "blind" playtests where you don't help them, to see if it works as intended.
     
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  6. Umbreon

    Umbreon Furry Veteran

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    Personally, I keep an Excel sheet that takes into account the damage formulas and the different techniques of the player at a particular time of the game. With different variables depending on the area in which the player is located. I often alternate between areas where monsters are easy to defeat and give a lot of exp and areas where they are very difficult.
    As for the bosses, I divide them into several parts. And gives them several different strategies, which the player can either counter to defeat the boss correctly (which gives the feeling of a long fight, since you defeat the boss's strategies one by one, like in a platform game), or if he has far enough, just ignore to hit the fat and smash the boss in two seconds. I make sure that no strategy really prevents the player from going berserk at any time, except for really important battles in the scenario, where you face a boss who is very powerful. It is only to them that I allow to make disruptive alterations for the player. The watchword is that the player is entertained by the fights, that it is always moving.

    As for the stats figures in themselves, personally I think that in a good RPG you have to progress very quickly at the beginning, to reach a normal progression afterwards, but with some fulgurations all along the way. I don't know if you remember, but in earthbound, from level 1 to level 2 you go from 20 to 32 HP. When you expected just 22-23, it's surprising, and it's nice. And all along the game, often, you increase your stats by 1 in 1, and suddenly without warning, at a level up, everything increases by 1 except a stat that has direct +5.
     
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